Personal and undiluted views
Portugal

184 days ago

Kevin Maguire a St Georges Day knobhead in action on a day I celebrate by trying to get Northern Ireland tickets

It may have escaped your attention if you are not a member of the GAWA or do not know what it is, but for the first time ever, the Northern Ireland Women’s Team has qualified for a major tournament. And thus. this St George’s Day I celebrate by starting down the path to get tickets for Euro 2022 to introduce my daughter to Northern Irish football. As is the norm I don’t pay any great attention to the English National day but I certainly take no offence from its celebration. My wife, on the other hand, may have parents born in India but identifies, on the census, as do most folks born in Nottingham, as English. For our kids growing up in Wales this will all be rather confusing.

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256 days ago

Flying to Heathrow from Portugal can now be a more serious crime than many rapes says Matt Hancock

The Government’s latest covid travel restrictions are non-sensical,smash the young and the poor disproportionately and the penalties for flouting them are offensive. Matt Hancock, you are a disgrace.

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2639 days ago

Reader Poll: Which of the Following is most likely to go bust

The sharp sell off last week in equity markets could be the precursor of worse to come. Argentina went bust. The biggest bank in Portugal seems to be heading the same way. So in this cheery vein this week’s reader poll asks who is next to go bust. We offer you a range of ptions. Vote now, poll closes Sunday night:

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2689 days ago

Who to Support in the World Cup? A Hard call

So Ireland did not make it to Brazil. That leaves me with a dilemma – who to support? If this was Rugby and Ireland were not playing it would be simple: anyone playing England. The swagger, pomposity and arrogance of English rugby drives me to supporting anyone up against the Old Enemy. But I just don’t feel that way about soccer.

The selection of Neanderthal half-wits who wear the England shirt and whichever hapless sap is in charge do not rile me in the slightest. I feel a general sense of contempt for all the Premiership prima donnas but there is no great hostility towards England as a national side. And so on balance I wish England well and will naturally cheer them on for their entire campaign. All three matches.

But I’d rather like to be rooting for a side with a good chance of making it through to the second phases.  And also I really find it hard to root for any team that has as its talisman Wayne Rooney. And every time I see Joe hart on TV earning yet more money promoting shampoo I find myself wishing the mercenary pig nothing but ill.  As such my mind had wandered to Greece. I was told that the Greek team – who collectively earn less than Mr Rooney does on his own – are not that bad.  Having now seen them play I accept that they are quite bad.

Having completed a fiendishly complex sweepstake created on an Excel spreadsheet by a friend of the Mrs which forced the Mrs and I to predict every result and how many goals Messi scores, I now reckon that the last four will be Holland, Portugal, Brazil and the Argies. And I’d go for an all South American final with the hosts winning.

So I cheer for Greece and England. And as neither will make it past the group stages there is unlikely to be a time when I have to choose between the two. After that – how about Holland. As they play in Orange the Ulsterman in me sees the links and they were superb against Spain.

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